Pfizer’s April vaccine shipments set to exceed total doses received to date

Pfizer to ship 769k vaccine doses first two weeks of April, federal official confirms

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The number of Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) vaccine deliveries due to arrive in Canada in April will exceed the total number received to date in short order.

The pharmaceutical giant is set to deliver 769,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses the first two weeks of April, according to Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, the vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).

“Our planning is focused on increasing shipments from Pfizer-BioNTech and taking them out there now beyond April,” he said during a Thursday (February 25) media briefing.

The April tally would bring in more than 1.5 million doses, exceeding the 1.3 million doses to arrive in Canada between mid-December and February 18.

PHAC’s website has not updated its delivery data since last week.

Pfizer is also due to deliver 444,600 doses over the next five weeks, totalling more than 2.2 million doses delivered by the end of next month.

The manufacturer is contracted to deliver four million doses by the end of the first quarter, but that looked to be in doubt earlier this month amid ongoing shipping delays brought on by efforts to revamp its production facility in Belgium.

But if all those March deliver arrive on time, Pfizer will meet its guarantee — albeit it will do so by requiring that health workers extract six doses from each vial rather than the five doses previously agreed upon.

Immunizers began using specialized syringes this month to wring out the extra dose.

Fortin said the federal government has been monitoring the results of those efforts.

“We’ll continue to push more of those [low-dead volume] syringes to the provinces and very, very soon I would expect to see numbers from provinces on their ability to draw that [extra dose] consistently,” he said.

Fortin also revealed Moderna Inc. (NYSE:MRNA) would be shipping 466,000 doses for the weeks of March 8 and March 22.

The nearly one million doses set to arrive means Moderna will also meet its Q1 delivery guarantee to Canada of two million doses.

Fortin could not, however, provide shipping estimates for Moderna going into April.

But he said Moderna would now be delivering doses every two weeks starting with its first March shipment.

The manufacturer was previously delivering doses every three weeks and, similar to Pfizer, it began throttling deliveries over the past month.

torton@biv.com

@reporton